Profiling the top business CIOs across the Americas
Image: Christian Montenegro/Dutch Uncle
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Xing

Profiling the top business CIOs across the Americas

Clare Simmons — January 2014

Who are the biggest names in IT management across North and South America? We rank the CIOs at the continents’ largest businesses — executives with challenges and budgets to match.

The economic sway of the energy sector ensures that oil and gas industry CIOs continue to dominate the most powerful positions for IT leaders in the Americas region. Our latest chart, which ranks companies based on their last reported annual revenues, shows seven of the top 20 are from that industry.

But, in terms of the sheer size of the organization supported by IT, the CIO at retail sector giant Wal-Mart outranks them all. Interestingly — and unlike in previous years — Karenann Terrell is part of a new cohort of women CIOs showing a much stronger presence at the top of IT.

Six (30%) of the top 20 CIOs are women, a showing that looks a lot healthier than in the European CIO ranking, where only two women are evident in the region’s top 20.

But other kinds of diversity are not so widespread. Despite several Canadian companies sitting on the edge of the top 20, the only non-US businesses in the Americas league come from Central and South America. They are all energy firms: Pemex from Mexico, Brazil’s Petrobras and PDVSA from Venezuela. What all these CIOs have in common, though, is the challenge of ensuring IT delivers huge and innovative value for their organizations. As CVS Caremark CIO Stephen Gold says on his LinkedIn page, it’s all about blending “business and technical expertise to deliver leading edge solutions in highly competitive business environments.”

Top enterprise cios in the americas region*

Company (HQ)
Revs ($bn)Head of IT
1. Wal-Mart Stores (US)469.2Karenann Terrell
2. ExxonMobil (US)453.1Michael Brown
3. Chevron (US)230.6Jim Blackwell
4. Phillips 66 (US)179.5Kay Sallee
5. Apple (US)170.9Niall O’Connor
6. General Motors (US)152.3Randy Mott
7. General Electric (US)147.4Jamie Miller  
8. Petrobras (Brazil)144.1Álvaro Martins
9. Valero Energy (US)139.3Cheryl Thomas 
10. Ford Motor (US)134.3Nick Smither
11. AT&T (US)127.4Thaddeus Arroyo
12. Pemex (Mexico)126.5José Luis Luna Cárdenas
13. PDVSA (Venezuela)124.5Ower Manrique
14. CVS Caremark (US)123.1Stephen Gold
15. McKesson (US)122.5Randy Spratt
16. Hewlett-Packard (US)120.4Ramón Baez
17. Verizon Communications (US)115.8Roger Gurnani
18. Costco Wholesale (US)105.2Paul Moulton
19. IBM (US)104.5Jeanette Horan
20. Cardinal Health (US)101.1Patty Morrison
* CIOs at the 20 largest Americas-headquartered companies, based on last reported annual revenues. Currency conversions based on rate at companies' fiscal year end, unless directly specified. UnitedHealth Group ranks 18th by revenue, but is unable to point to one individual as global CIO.


Karenann Terrell
Wal-Mart Stores

croppedkarenann-terrell-2013 130041256067567750

Karenann Terrell joined Wal-Mart in 2010 as EVP of information systems, and now holds the top IT post as EVP and CIO, responsible for the company’s global technology systems. She has previously worked as CIO of Baxter International, the Chrysler Group and Mercedes-Benz North America. Terrell began her career at General Motors and has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the Automotive Business. She serves on the board of directors at Chinese e-commerce company Yihaodian. 

Michael Brown
VP, global IT
ExxonMobil Global Services Company
Since 2011, Michael Brown has served as VP, global IT for ExxonMobil Global Services Company, the business unit that encompasses ExxonMobil’s IT, global real estate and facilities, procurement and business support centers. He joined Mobil Corp in 1980 as a process engineer and later led business process re-engineering and SAP rollout for its US-based upstream, downstream and global chemical assets. Following the company’s merger with Exxon in 1999, Brown held a similar role for the newly combined company. In 2006, he was made executive assistant to ExxonMobil’s Chairman, and in the same year, was named VP refining. In March 2009, he was appointed project executive of the US Real Estate Strategy Study Project, before taking on his current role in July 2011.


Jim Blackwell
EVP, technology and services
Jim Blackwell became EVP, technology and services for Chevron in 2011, with responsibilities including oversight technology, major capital project management and procurement. Before taking on this role, Blackwell was president of Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Company. From 2003 to 2007 he was managing director of the company’s Southern Africa business unit, and from 2002 to 2003 was president of Chevron Pipe Line Company in Houston, Texas. Blackwell is a member of the CSIS US-China Policy Roundtable and the CSIS US-ASEAN Strategy Commission, and serves on the board of director of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Kay Sallee
Phillips 66
As CIO, Kay Sallee leads IT at Phillips 66, having previously worked as corporate IT services manager at Phillips Petroleum Company and general manager, enterprise information services at ConocoPhillips. Holding company Phillips 66 was created when ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream assets – it began trading on the NYSE in May 2012. In late 2013, Phillips 66 unveiled a new mobile working initiative, rolling out more than 2,000 iPhones equipped with business productivity apps, including its own custom-built HR Connect app.

Niall O’Connor
Niall O’Connor has been Apple’s CIO since 1997. He joined the company in 1991, having previously worked at Eurolink. In his native Ireland, O’Connor had held IT management roles at Homedica and Westinghouse. Since becoming IT chief at Apple, O’Connor has led the global implementation of SAP for the company, and spearheaded innovation in its call centers, warehousing and retail environments.

Randy Mott
SVP, global IT and CIO
General Motors


Randy Mott was appointed SVP, global IT and CIO in February 2012. He was previously EVP and CIO at Hewlett-Packard, and has also been SVP and CIO at Dell, which he joined in 2000. Before this, Mott spent 22 years at Wal-Mart Stores, becoming SVP and CIO in 1994, before being promoted to its executive committee in 1996 and named ‘Chief of the Year’ by Information Week in 1997.


Jamie Miller
General Electric

croppedJamie Miller 0

Jamie Miller is SVP and CIO for General Electric, responsible for driving its global IT strategy and operations. Previously, she served as VP, controller and chief accounting officer, having first joined GE in April 2008. Before this, Miller was SVP and controller of WellPoint, and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She currently serves on Oracle’s President’s Council and is a member of the Sutter Hill Ventures Customer Advisory Board and CIO Strategy Exchange.

Álvaro Martins
Executive manager of ICT
Álvaro Adriano Rocha Martins has been the executive manager of Petrobras’ Information and Communications Technology unit since 2011. Previously, he was general manager of Administration and Development of IT Solutions for the Brazilian multinational energy company. Established in 1953, Petrobras now operates in 24 countries in addition to Brazil. It’s pledged to invest R$21.2 billion (US$9.7bn) between 2013 and 2017 in IT and telecommunications, to prioritize information security. Álvaro joined Petrobras in 1985. Since then, he’s worked in a range of roles, including professor and coordinator for ICT courses at the South-Southeast Education Center (the precursor of the Petrobras University), sector manager of E&P Human Resources Development and manager of ICT Planning and Management. Álvaro was also the training coordinator on the Synergy Project, the implementation initiative for Petrobras’ SAP ERP Integrated Management System.


Cheryl Thomas
Corporate VP information services and CIO
Valero Energy

Cheryl Thomas has worked for Valero and its predecessor since 1984. Before adopting her current role, she was SVP of information services, and has also worked as VP of retail operations support and VP of retail information systems. 


Nick Smither
Group VP and CIO
Ford Motor

croppedNicolasJSmither headshot

Nick Smither has been group VP and CIO at Ford since April 2008. Previously, he was executive director of Global IT business operations, a role he assumed in 2002, taking responsibility for IT services for North America, International Operations, the Premier Automotive Group and Mazda. Smither initially joined Ford in 1980 as an engineer in its European business, moving to IT in 1983, and to the US business in 1995.


Thaddeus Arroyo


Thaddeus Arroyo was appointed to the CIO role at AT&T in January 2007, following the merger of AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular. In this role he is responsible for AT&T’s information technology and infrastructure, including development of applications systems across all of AT&T’s business segments and management of AT&T's internal and customer-hosting data centers. He is also responsible for AT&T’s digital properties and experiences across all business segments. Before joining AT&T Arroyo served as CIO at Cingular Wireless and as SVP of product marketing and development for Sabre Corp. Arroyo is an active board member for the National Center for Women & Information Technology and the Hispanic IT Executive Council.

José Luis Luna Cárdenas
José Luis Luna Cárdenas has been CIO of Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos), the world’s fourth largest oil producer, since January 2013. This is his first role at a state-owned business – he was most recently VP of innovation at CEMEX, where he worked for more than 25 years, serving as CIO from 2000 to 2009. There, he defined IT standards for CEMEX worldwide, directed IT operations for CEMEX Mexico, and led a global team through the CEMEX Way challenge as SVP for processes and IT, to build a single business model for processes and technology across all countries in which CEMEX operates.


Ower Manrique
Executive director of automation, IT and telecommunications and president of PDVSA Industrial
Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA)
Ower Manrique is executive director of automation, IT and telecommunications at PDVSA and president of PDVSA Industrial. PDVSA is responsible for the exploration, production, refining, transport and commerce of hydrocarbons, with the Venezuelan State as its sole stockholder. Manrique graduated as a systems engineer from the Institute Luis Caballero Mejías Polytechnic University (now Universidad Nacional Experimental Politécnica Antonio José de Sucre). In November 2013, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Mines for the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, the Venezuelan organization responsible for formulating and monitoring plans for the exploration, exploitation, processing, manufacturing and trading of minerals.


Stephen Gold
CVS Caremark
Stephen Gold became SVP and CIO for CVS Caremark in July 2012. As the company’s most senior technology executive, he is responsible for the entire information systems and technology operation. Before joining CVS Caremark, he was SVP and CIO for Avaya, and has held similar roles at GSI Commerce and Merck & Co.

Randy Spratt
McKesson Corporation
Randy Spratt is EVP, CIO and CTO of McKesson Corporation, in a role encompassing overall technology direction for its healthcare technology products, support for application development processes, and all technology initiatives across the wider company. He’s held a range of roles at McKesson, having been with the company for more than 18 years. Before this, Spratt held executive positions at Advanced Laboratory Systems, which was acquired by HBOC in 1996, which was subsequently acquired by McKesson in 1999. 

Ramón Baez
Ramón Baez joined HP in August 2012. As SVP and CIO, he is responsible for global IT strategy and all of the company’s IT assets, including worldwide application development, HP’s private cloud, IT security, data management, technology infrastructure, and telecommunication networks. Before joining HP, Baez was VP of IT services and CIO at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and has also served in CIO roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific and Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solution group. He began his career at Northrop Grumman.

Roger Gurnani
Verizon Communications
Roger Gurnani was named EVP and CIO for Verizon Communications in October 2010, having previously worked as SVP of new product development for Verizon Wireless. From 2005 to 2008, Gurnani served as president of the West area for Verizon Wireless, of which he was one of the founding officers. He was VP and CIO until 2005, helping oversee the integration of Bell Atlantic, Vodafone AirTouch and GTE. Previously, Gurnani had been VP and CIO at Bell Atlantic Mobile.


Paul Moulton


Paul Moulton has been overseeing Costco’s global IT operations as EVP and CIO since 2010. He’s been with the company since 1985, responsible for real estate development from 2001, marketing, e-commerce and member services from 1999, and was SVP information systems from 1997 to 1999. He has also served as SVP, COO of Costco Asia and SVP, COO of Costco Europe. Moulton is a member of the Technology Services Board for the State of Washington.


Jeanette Horan
Jeanette Horan was appointed CIO of IBM in May 2011 and leads the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy. Previously, she was VP of enterprise business transformation, leading the company’s transformation program for key back office processes. Having joined the company in 1998, Horan has held leadership positions for the acquired Lotus brand, information management and software groups. Before joining Lotus, Horan was VP of development for Digital Equipment Corporation’s AltaVista business.


Patty Morrison
EVP, Customer Care Shared Services and CIO
Cardinal Health

Patty Morrison Photo 2

As EVP, Customer Care Shared Services, and CIO at Cardinal Health, Patty Morrison is responsible for the company’s enterprise-wide IT, as well as its customer contact centers and contracts and pricing. Previously, she was EVP and CIO for Motorola, and she’s also held the CIO role at Office Depot. Earlier in her career, Morrison worked in senior IT positions at General Electric, PepsiCo, P&G and The Quaker Oats Company.

First published January 2014
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Xing

    Your choice regarding cookies on this site

    Our website uses cookies for analytical purposes and to give you the best possible experience.

    Click on Accept to agree or Preferences to view and choose your cookie settings.

    This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

    Some cookies are necessary in order to deliver the best user experience while others provide analytics or allow retargeting in order to display advertisements that are relevant to you.

    For a full list of our cookies and how we use them, please visit our Cookie Policy

    Essential Cookies

    These cookies enable the website to function to the best of its ability and provide the best user experience for you. They can still be disabled via your browser settings.

    Analytical Cookies

    We use analytical cookies such as those used by Google Analytics to give us information about the way our users interact with - this helps us to make improvements to the site to enhance your experience.

    For a full list of analytical cookies and how we use them, visit our Cookie Policy

    Social Media Cookies

    We use cookies that track visits from social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn - these cookies allow us to re-target users with relevant advertisements from

    For a full list of social media cookies and how we use them, visit our Cookie Policy